A fake message from Rev. Kevin J. Long may have arrived in your email yesterday or even on a previous occasion. You will never receive any emails from Rev. Long asking for any type of favor or gift. If the email is overly friendly or uses language that doesn't sound like something Rev. Long would say, please delete it and do not take any action.
Churches are popular targets of spam and phishing attacks. (Phishing is a type of attack where hackers impersonate individuals or businesses, asking for a ‘favor’ and potentially money.) It is easy for anyone to ‘spoof’ the return/sender address on an email and make it look like someone you know—and it is easy for you to spot the fake if you are careful.
Here are some of the signs that an email is fake, even though it looks like it comes from a person or company you know:
- The sender's email address is inconsistent. IPC staff only uses the format 'email@example.com' for email addresses. Always check the sender's email address. If you are unsure if any email is real, just delete it. If it is important, that person will reach out to you another way. The fake emails often have gmail.com, yahoo.com, or a company name that does not go along with the person they are impersonating.
- A simple request for a favor from a person whom you don’t regularly hear from. The message may create a sense of urgency.
- A generic subject or greeting in the email. Sometimes there is no subject.
- Errors in the email. The message is poorly written and may contain spelling and grammar issues.
If you think an email might be legitimate, use another way to contact that person to verify. You can use the church website to contact IPC or to look up a staff member's email address or phone number.
If you’d like to know more about phishing and detecting fake emails, read more here.
Take care out there. If you receive a phishing or spam email, delete it, submit it to your junk filter, and/or ‘Block Sender’ if you can. Please don't hesitate to contact the church at any time if you suspect a suspicious email from a member of the IPC staff.
Contact Independent Presbyterian Church
3100 Highland Avenue S.
Birmingham, Alabama 35205
Phone: (205) 933-1830